Class is in session with Two Point Campus, and everyone is eager to learn. This is a university management game where you will be acting as the establishment’s head administrator. Regarding management simulators, the team at Two Point Studios knows what to bring to the table with plenty of goofy antics and detailed administrative decisions.
The focal point of Two Point Campus goes beyond the standard management of building up a structure and waiting for people to interact with it. Instead, you can directly influence the many characters that walk through the halls, aiding them in small ways to give them unique stories before leaving your doors and graduating. These stories are fleeting, but they’re fun while they last. The Two Point team brings plenty of light humor to make running a Campus an enjoyable endeavor, though it doesn’t reinvent the management simulator genre or bring too much new to the table.
Get schooled on school
The framework for Two Point Campus doesn’t change much, and it’s steadily shown to you through the campaign in straightforward progression. You go through the small details of maintaining the campus by learning how students attend classes, how to help them succeed in their courses, and the fundamentals every campus needs while playing the game. Not only do you need to supply your students with suitable buildings to ensure they can learn from teachers, but you also need to make sure they have places to study and complete assignments.
The first part of the campaign begins with giving you access to traditional courses, such as scientography, robotics, and gastronomy. But the curriculum expands into fantastical studies, such as exploring knight school, wizardry, and the dark arts. These come with the same basics and don’t break the mold too much.
The gameplay cycle maintains the same loop, regardless of what courses you have at your school. At the end of each year, you review all of your student and faculty achievements, receiving additional funding and points based on these merits. This gives you the chance to further expand your campus and prepare for more students the following year, making for an enjoyable and worthwhile cycle. You’ll be chasing after these achievements each year, trying to increase the chances of receiving better funding to support any needs your students might bring up.
Outside of teaching your students, you must maintain multiple other stats to ensure they can succeed. A big one is their student’s happiness, which you can manage by participating in and adding social activities to your campus.
Go beyond the classroom
Students require the chance to do social activities besides attending school the entire year. You will construct these social buildings alongside your classrooms, forcing you to pick and choose the layout of your college to strategically blend them all together in the limited enclosure. Not only do you have them, but you need to hold more significant events such as parties, invite celebrities to entertain them, or plan movie nights for them while on campus.
Although they might seem like a fun thing to add to your school year as an administrator, they are required because of how much your students rely on having high happiness. It’s one of the more difficult stats to maintain throughout the game, given how much time students have to devote to studying. Working on these activities is an excellent way to break the traditional mold of monitoring a campus.
These activities primarily act as an additional stress point for you, encouraging you to read the profiles of your multiple students and try to find their individual desires. Many of them blend together, so selecting which ones you add to your campus should be easy. In addition, the types of courses you host at your campus attract many students, meaning you can narrow down what you should be adding to your campus and keep to a theme, a relief for anyone who desires to improve the aesthetics rather than solely looking at the numbers.
You can derive a little narrative from your students’ traits and progression through your school program, potentially watching them make friendships on the way or even falling in love. However, these small details don’t make a complete story; once the student leaves, they’re gone, leaving a gap where a larger narrative could take place.
Doesn’t change the standard syllabus
Two Point Campus doesn’t make an enormous splash in the building simulator genre. If you’ve played any type of simulator game before, much of what you do in this game lines up with what you’ve done in others. You have a set amount of funding you receive, there are only a handful of ways to earn more, and there are several stats each student has that you need to monitor.
What Two Point Campus does better than other management simulators is regularly having random activities available for you to do, letting you achieve those goals more naturally. For example, your students might send you a message of a specific item they want to be added to the campus to increase their happiness, or they might request you to add an item to a classroom for an assignment they’re working on to improve their grade.
The stress of maintaining the finer details of campus is still there, but there are several avenues for you to explore to make your life easier and makes picking the game back up much easier. You won’t find an exciting new gimmick in Two Point Campus that you haven’t already seen in other building simulators. Still, you might try your luck at some more difficult challenges that make it easily accessible without removing the more difficult stats that are the foundation of successful building simulators.
Two Point Campus has a solid and well-polished gameplay loop, and it’s undoubtedly an easily replayable experience. But unfortunately, the development team doesn’t pull any surprises in the game’s complexity or doesn’t take a risk by adding something that hasn’t been done before.
The complexity of the different student personalities and their individual needs is fun, but it doesn’t overly complicate the formula. Even so, Two Point Campus is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a lively experience while maintaining a university.
8 / 10
|+||Solid gameplay loop with gratifying accomplishments|
|+||Enjoyable challenges that don’t become too stressful|
|+||Goofy dialogue and antics to liven up the simulator|
|–||Lacking a larger story|
|–||Doesn’t contribute much to the simulator genre|